O P I N I O N
S ometimes I think architects and engineers forget that they are in the consulting business. Acknowledging this fact affects every single aspect of how you should do things. “To maximize your chances for success, remember you are in the consulting business. Keep these points in mind as you guide the growth and development of your business.” We are all in the consulting business!
Here are my thoughts: ❚ ❚ Specialization is critical to your success. Why do some of you act as if a good architect or engineer can do anything? Your clients don’t feel that way. You wouldn’t hire an IT consultant to install your Deltek system who has never done one before. So why should a client hire you to do something you have never done yourself? Being a generalist is not the way to be successful. Specialization drives the selection process and greatly affects what you can charge for your services. ❚ ❚ Because the only thing you have to sell is time and expertise, you can’t give it away. Doing so doesn’t lead to the sale of anything else. This is a huge problem today, particularly for architects who seem to be expected to give away most of their expertise during the sales process for free. Entering design competitions along with 25 other companies is insane. You have to figure out a way to stay busy
on productive jobs so you won’t be tempted to work for free. ❚ ❚ Your time and that of your employees is limited and needs to be used working for paying clients if you are going to be able to pay your people and yourself. You have to use your time very wisely. Cut out all unnecessary meetings. Eliminate any bureaucracy that you can. And be sure you personally use your time as effectively and productively as you can. Remain active on billable projects and set a good example for everyone else. ❚ ❚ The time of your best employees is particularly valuable. Getting people into the right roles, both in the company and on specific projects, is crucial. If everyone is operating one or two levels below their real capability you will be paying too much to get work completed. You will also be demotivating
See MARK ZWEIG, page 4
THE ZWEIG LETTER March 16, 2020, ISSUE 1336
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